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North young gun mulls stability, opportunity

North Melbourne dynamo Harry Sheezel hopes the AFL strugglers can find greater stability in their top side as they search for their first win of the season.

The winless and last-placed Kangaroos have used 36 players in 2024, second only to Richmond, who sit one spot above them on the ladder with a solitary victory.

They face a substantial challenge against fourth-placed Port Adelaide at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Jackson Archer returns from an ankle injury and Kallan Dawson makes a comeback in the reserves, but several Kangaroos remain sidelined including co-captain Jy Simpkin (quad).

Sheezel had a mixed reaction when asked about the team’s high player turnover.

“The more you’re rotating players the less stability you get in your team,” he said.

“We’re looking for games played together and experience as a group.

“I guess the more we change the team the less we get of that. But it’s also great to give guys like Will Dawson an opportunity and (other) debutants.

“It is really exciting for our young group to explore what our team will look like going forward. But I think the more stability, the better.”

Sheezel, pick No.3 in the 2022 draft and last season’s rising star winner, echoed coach Alastair Clarkson’s sentiments that a win was around the corner.

“It doesn’t seem like we’re zero-and-ten, the vibes are so good at the club,” the 19-year-old said.

“The boys are really working hard to turn it around.”

North were in the game at halftime against Essendon last round but lost by 40-points after being outscored eight-goals-to-two in the third quarter.

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley insisted his men were taking nothing for granted against the Kangaroos, despite opting to rest key forward Charlie Dixon.

“We’ve got a short turnaround, five days, and then we have got another bye,” he told reporters.

“We feel like it’s a really good opportunity for (Dixon) to hopefully give his body a really, really good rest.

“It’s a competition that’s so even. North Melbourne at Hobart will be a challenge. There is a challenge every round we play.

“They have got good youth, they’ve got good enthusiasm around the ball. They’ve got some really high picks in that team.”

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